Pastors under siege: what to do when integrity and truth become a liability

 

Pastors under siege: what to do when integrity and truth become a liability

By Mario Murillo

A pastor pours blood sweat and tears into a work for God only to see it battered, broken and diminished.   The community he serves now tells him that schools are off limits to churches.  City government wants to know how you stand on gay marriage and hints that you will be penalized for your stand.  Suddenly use permits are hard to get and neighborhoods want you to stay away.

Then he turns around and sees large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into churches that are either hiding the Gospel or perverting it.

There is nothing more heartbreaking to a true pastor than to watch his sheep drawn away into false teaching.  What makes it even worse is the dismaying feeling of rejection when good people, whom you have poured your life into for years, are suddenly gone.

It is easy for him to say “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13,14.

Let get something straight from the jump.  This message is not for the many who would give up anything including their integrity to have a big church.  This message is to those who believe that God can use them in a mighty way without compromising their convictions.

So here step by step is what you do if you are a pastor under siege:

1.Realize what is actually happening. We are experiencing a great falling away. Many believe that it is the great falling away that Paul the apostle warned Timothy about: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” -1Timothy 4:1.

Some have left Christianity all together because of persecution.  But the real crisis is false Christianity.

Here is a chilling statistic:  the three most popular preachers in America today do not mention the cross, the blood or hell.  That has never been true in the entire history of America until now.

2.Those that deceive the church are getting supernatural help. We scratch our heads and wonder how false teaching can become so popular. We look at some of the subjects that are being taught and it is bewildering that such obvious error gets such a wide hearing.

Taught by devils: I never saw it before, the Bible says that demons would actually be doing the teaching!   Paul said, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” – 1Timothy 4:1.

A mist of deception falls on an audience as they listen to false teachers.  That mist desensitizes their natural discernment and removes their sense of caution.  The giddy feeling that they are getting in the meeting lets them ignore the inner check they normally get from the Holy Spirit.

Even Mega churches can be supernaturally helped by the enemy.  A mega church can be the perfect mirage for a hurting community.  If people are given a groovy feeling instead of Christ they will have zero power against Satan and they will not know it.   Furthermore, they are siding with the culture against true Christians which adds to the persecution.

rob-bell

Recently, we saw former mega church pastor Rob Bell bashing the true church and boasting to Oprah that the church is “moments away from accepting gay marriage.”

 3.Since the forces that are attacking your congregation are supernatural your solution lies in the supernatural. Our friend in Psalm 73 came to a great conclusion. After being bull dozed by the success of the wicked that he was tempted to admire he took action “16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”

When he entered the sanctuary exhausted and discouraged, the greatness of God began to overtake him.  He saw that there is no version of this battle where Satan wins.

I do not know where your sanctuary is.  It may be a forest or a basement.  It is where you and your God connect.  Early in his ministry, David Wilkerson drove his car to a hill over the city and sought God.  Go there and watch God increase and the enemy decrease.

4.Nobody but God and you know the final answer for your church. Wait a minute; don’t we need tutors and seminars to grow a church? Someone asked me once “what makes a church grow?”  I said “nothing and everything.”  It’s true!  I have seen every tactic of church growth fail and I have seen the most unlikely methods succeed.   It was all about what God tells you.

Oh sure others can add to your wisdom and confirm your convictions but God is a jealous God and he choose you to lead these people and He alone wants to tell you what to do next.

raw bravery

5.It is all about a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on your people to face the threat. We cannot change what we are teaching. The Blood, the Cross, prosperity, healing and faith are timeless truths for the body of Christ. Regardless of the short-term success of any “new, improved gospel” we cannot abandon truth and we cannot leave out any ingredient of truth that we know to be the Word of God.

So what do we change?  The best answer to that question is another question: is there something that we have stepped away from that once made us powerful?  When the Church last felt a threat this massive Peter prayed this prayer; “Lord behold their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may preach your word while you stretch out your hand to heal and let science and wonders be done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  Acts 4:29

God answered this desperate prayer by pouring out his Spirit on the church.  “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:30.

In a time when pastors are being battered by advice on what to preach and how to change in order to be relevant, it is urgent that we return to prayer to seek a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  He, the Spirit, is our supernatural outside help.  He knows the enemy and how to defeat the enemy.

There is a life available that can be free of all distraction and ineffectiveness, a life that goes forth by the direct command of God.  That life can accomplish truly mighty things, things mighty enough to change the course of America.  This is the life you want to live!  This is the only thing that we need to change.

A fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit is all that we need today.   The American Church will not be turned around by supermen but by supernatural men. We do not need better equipment, new organizations, novel methods, but vessels that the Holy Ghost can use—vessels who pray with prevailing might.  God does not flow through religious machinery but through human beings. He does not anoint plans, but people—people who can pray down fresh fire.

You will get outside help!  The Holy Spirit has an original strategy for you that is perfect for the battle you are facing.  He wants to show you how to put it to work.  The bonus is the presence of God that all will feel in your meetings.  Millions of believers have rejected lukewarm faith and they are yearning for a worship experience like the one God will build through you.

These are indeed dark times but America has seen this before.  I would argue that the early 1960’s  were as dangerous as today but God unexpectedly poured out His Spirit on California’s youth and pulled America back from the cliff.  You and God can be a team to see miracles like that again!

Pastors under siege: what to do when integrity and truth become a liability

Pastors under siege

Pastors under siege: what to do when integrity and truth become a liability

By Mario Murillo

A pastor pours blood sweat and tears into a work for God only to see it battered, broken and diminished.   The community he serves now tells him that schools are off limits to churches.  City government wants to know how you stand on gay marriage and hints that you will be penalized for your stand.  Suddenly use permits are hard to get and neighborhoods want you to stay away.

Then he turns around and sees large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into churches that are either hiding the Gospel or perverting it.

There is nothing more heartbreaking to a true pastor than to watch his sheep drawn away into false teaching.  What makes it even worse is the dismaying feeling of rejection when good people, whom you have poured your life into for years, are suddenly gone.

It is easy for him to say “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13,14.

Let get something straight from the jump.  This message is not for the many who would give up anything including their integrity to have a big church.  This message is to those who believe that God can use them in a mighty way without compromising their convictions.

So here step by step is what you do if you are a pastor under siege:

1.Realize what is actually happening. We are experiencing a great falling away. Many believe that it is the great falling away that Paul the apostle warned Timothy about: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” -1Timothy 4:1.

Some have left Christianity all together because of persecution.  But the real crisis is false Christianity.

Here is a chilling statistic:  the three most popular preachers in America today do not mention the cross, the blood or hell.  That has never been true in the entire history of America until now.

2.Those that deceive the church are getting supernatural help. We scratch our heads and wonder how false teaching can become so popular. We look at some of the subjects that are being taught and it is bewildering that such obvious error gets such a wide hearing.

Taught by devils: I never saw it before, the Bible says that demons would actually be doing the teaching!   Paul said, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” – 1Timothy 4:1.

A mist of deception falls on an audience as they listen to false teachers.  That mist desensitizes their natural discernment and removes their sense of caution.  The giddy feeling that they are getting in the meeting lets them ignore the inner check they normally get from the Holy Spirit.

Even Mega churches can be supernaturally helped by the enemy.  A mega church can be the perfect mirage for a hurting community.  If people are given a groovy feeling instead of Christ they will have zero power against Satan and they will not know it.   Furthermore, they are siding with the culture against true Christians which adds to the persecution.

rob-bell

Recently, we saw former mega church pastor Rob Bell bashing the true church and boasting to Oprah that the church is “moments away from accepting gay marriage.”

3.Since the forces that are attacking your congregation are supernatural your solution lies in the supernatural. Our friend in Psalm 73 came to a great conclusion. After being bull dozed by the success of the wicked that he was tempted to admire it, he took action “16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”

When he entered the sanctuary exhausted and discouraged, the greatness of God began to overtake him.  He saw that there is no version of this battle where Satan wins.

I do not know where your sanctuary is.  It may be a forest or a basement.  It is where you and your God connect.  Early in his ministry, David Wilkerson drove his car to a hill over the city and sought God.  Go there and watch God increase and the enemy decrease.

4.Nobody but you knows the final answer for your church. Wait a minute; don’t we need tutors and seminars to grow a church? Someone asked me once “what makes a church grow?”  I said “nothing and everything.”  It’s true!  I have seen every tactic of church growth fail and I have seen the most unlikely methods succeed.   It was all about what God tells you.

Oh sure others can add to your wisdom and confirm your convictions but God is a jealous God and he choose you to lead these people and He alone wants to tell you what to do next.

raw bravery

5.It is all about a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on your people to face the threat. We cannot change what we are teaching. The Blood, the Cross, prosperity, healing and faith are timeless truths for the body of Christ. Regardless of the short-term success of any “new, improved gospel” we cannot abandon truth and we cannot leave out any ingredient of truth that we know to be the Word of God.

So what do we change?  The best answer to that question is another question: is there something that we have stepped away from that once made us powerful?  When the Church last felt a threat this massive Peter prayed this prayer; “Lord behold their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may preach your word while you stretch out your hand to heal and let science and wonders be done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  Acts 4:29

God answered this desperate prayer by pouring out his Spirit on the church.  “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:30.

In a time when pastors are being battered by advice on what to preach and how to change in order to be relevant, it is urgent that we return to prayer to seek a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  He, the Spirit, is our supernatural outside help.  He knows the enemy and how to defeat the enemy.

There is a life available that can be free of all distraction and ineffectiveness, a life that goes forth by the direct command of God.  That life can accomplish truly mighty things, things mighty enough to change the course of America.  This is the life you want to live!  This is the only thing that we need to change.

A fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit is all that we need today.   The American Church will not be turned around by supermen but by supernatural men. We do not need better equipment, new organizations, novel methods, but vessels that the Holy Ghost can use—vessels who pray with prevailing might.  God does not flow through religious machinery but through human beings. He does not anoint plans, but people—people who can pray down fresh fire.

You will get outside help!  The Holy Spirit has an original strategy for you that is perfect for the battle you are facing.  He wants to show you how to put it to work.  The bonus is the presence of God that all will feel in your meetings.  Millions of believers have rejected lukewarm faith and they are yearning for a worship experience like the one God will build through you.

These are indeed dark times but America has seen this before.  I would argue that the early 1960’s  were as dangerous as today but God unexpectedly poured out His Spirit on California’s youth and pulled America back from the cliff.  You and God can be a team to see miracles like that again!

God sends a Warning to America through a vision given to Oral Roberts

Roberts

 So why didn’t we know that these mighty vessels were moved by God to issue final warnings to the the church and the nation?  Because the American Church is now as David Wilkerson put it “the ultimate feel good church of all time,”  we want to filter out anything that disturbs our cool vibe.  Here now is the loving message from the great evangelist Oral Roberts himself.  He saw a vision and with a broken heart he delivers a final plea to the church.  -Mario Murillo

God sends a Warning to America through a vision given to Oral Roberts

“In the midst of the turmoil, the fear, the anxiety that’s in our nation and in our world, as I was walking and meditating, I heard the voice of God. I’ve heard that voice many times. It’s too familiar to me, and there’s no way that I can fail to understand it; His voice because I’m familiar with it. And instantly I heard that voice and I heard it and then I saw with my eyes something I’d never seen. Suddenly, in the clouds in the skies above New York City and the east part of the United States, and which hung there for quite sometime and then spread out across America, without touching the ground, and then God diffused it away from America and sent it out to the nations of the earth. And I saw and I heard. What did I see? I saw something coming down from above: Smoke and vapor and blood, or it looked like that to my eyes, to my spiritual eyes.

There it was hanging so huge until it almost blotted out the sky. Instantly I thought about 9/11, when the terrorists attacked the Twin Towers and through television all of us in America, and probably the world, saw those more than a hundred story high buildings crumple and heard the cry of thousands of people who were being either killed or wounded. I remembered the fear that struck my heart and knew that what I was feeling everybody else was feeling and remembered that never in the history of the world, and certainly not of America, that something of this proportion had struck the human race and was a preview of things similar to it that were going to happen through what we now call terrorists. First, I saw this thing hovering and great changes coming in it to where I couldn’t miss it. And then I heard, something came into my ears, and it reminded me of what a friend of mine had said when the first space capsule was released into the sky.

They told me that they made of all of them—he was a newsman in New York City—to be maybe half mile or more away from the capsule. And he said when that thing lifted off the earth, there was a sound, and the sound itself moved the weeds and the growth, and he said, “It penetrated my body.” He said, “As I talked to others, they felt the same thing.” He said the sound was so enormous that nothing had ever happened like it in the history of the world. Instantly, I thought of that because the sound that was coming into my ears was penetrating my whole being.

NYC

And then I heard God’s voice. {HE} said,

“I’M MAKING A SIGN.”

This is a sign according to the second chapter of Acts, where the Apostle Peter, upon the giving of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, said there’ll be signs in the skies.”

He said, “This is one of the signs of the end time because the world is not ready for the second coming of my Son.” He said, “My church is not ready for the second coming of my Son.”

He said, “The Jews, with whom I’ve had the covenant for thousands of years, they’re not ready for the second coming of my Son.” He said, “The nations of the earth are not ready for the second coming of my Son.”
He said, “America has been set aside by a special covenant that I made with many of the people who came to found this nation several hundred years ago, that this was my nation and the gospel was going to go out from it unlike any other nation and there’d be more gospel going out from America.” And he said, not only would there be a powerful military presence in the United States unlike any other nation, but it would be the center of the gospel that I was sending out. And he said to me, “You remember that I said in my Bible to my disciples 2,000 years ago, ‘Go into all the world and teach all nations, and when that teaching has reached the nations then shall the end come.'” And then he startled me. He said, “With all of the widespread force of my church in the world, but particularly in the United States, which is the source of most of the gospel that’s being preached in all the world,”

Oral-Roberts-9460242-1-402

HE said, “THERE IS A WASTING OF MY POWER, THERE IS A FAILURE TO GRASP THE END TIME. AND THE CHURCH, THEY ARE COMING TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNING MOSTLY FOR THEMSELVES. AND THE PREACHERS, FOR THE MOST PART, ARE NOT REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

“THEY’RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE LITTLE GROUP THAT IS THERE, AND THEY SING THEIR SONGS AND THEY GET UP AND PREACH. AND {HE} SAID, “WHEN 9-11 STRUCK, THERE WAS A FEAR THAT CAME INTO THE HEARTS, EVEN OF MY PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH AND OF THE PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. AND MILLIONS THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY OR TWO RUSHED TO GO TO CHURCH.”

“BUT THE PREACHERS WERE NOT PREPARED, AND MOST OF THEM DIDN’T EVEN PREACH ON IT AND DIDN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT BEING THE SIGN OF SOMETHING THAT’S COMING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES BIGGER.”

{HE} said, When those planes of the terrorists struck the Twin Towers in New York City and they gradually came tumbling down, it was something bigger than people had ever seen, but it’s nothing in comparison to what’s going to happen in the second coming of my Son.” And so he said, “My church was not prepared to deal with that, and people came to church and then nothing much happened and they dropped back and many of them went back to their bars,” as I heard Kenneth Copeland say.

“And there I was with my whole creation that’s alive in the earth, not counting all those who have died—millions who have lived and died, all of whom will be resurrected at some time in the future, having to do with the second coming of my Son, some to everlasting life, some to live forever in their new bodies and some to everlasting shame and contempt forever lost.” And he said, “I love people. I created them. I love them by creation. I love them because I sent my only begotten Son.” And instantly I thought of the great show that Mel Gibson made of The Passion. oral_roberts_1

When millions upon millions went to see it and are seeing it now all over the world. I remember when I sat there with my wife, watching it, and how my soul was stirred and the tears sprang from my eyes and my body trembled as I saw something about the sufferings of Jesus, the Son of God, to save the human race and so that the devil would not destroy God’s creation. He would not destroy men, women and children that God had created and for whom Jesus had died and rose from the dead that we might be born again—we might repent of our sins and have salvation and come into a readiness for the coming of Christ. And he says, “As you know in the Bible, the second coming in two parts. One is called the Rapture, one is called the revelation.

And first of all I’m going to rapture, or catch up, my people—the people who are born of my Spirit and filled with my Spirit and serving me. I’m going to catch them up in a moment of time and they’ll meet my Son in the clouds and come on into heaven, into my presence. And then not long after I’m going to bring that bride of Christ back with Jesus when he comes the second time to the earth, and that’ll be the beginning of the judgment of the nations.”

But he said, “The thing that is breaking my heart is that I commanded my people, I commanded my church to preach the gospel in all the world and to teach all nations. And while they are evangelists and pastors and prophets and apostles and all kinds of my workers in various parts of the world and in some of the nations of the earth, it’s just a drop in the bucket to what I commanded my disciples to do.”

praying for a boy

“And I love people so much I cannot afford to let people go on like they are.
And then he directed my attention to the book of Matthew, the 24th chapter, where he speaks in the 24th chapter and beginning at verse 35: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only. What I’m talking about is known only to the Father. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as the days that were before the flood that—there was eating and drinking— eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came; And the coming—so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”

Now, he reminded me in the 6th chapter of Genesis that the earth was filled with violence and it was so full it couldn’t be any more full and it grieved the heart of God that he had made man and he decided that he would destroy man and begin over, and he established a remnant and it was a family, Noah and his family. And he commanded him to build a huge boat that would take two of every living thing in it so when the flood came—and they’d never had rain before in the earth, it had been watered by a mist.

But when, he said, when the flood comes and this boat with this family and two of every living thing gets in it and the flood lifts them up from the earth that’s being destroyed, or from the human race that’s being destroyed, the flood that lifts the ark, or the remnant of my people, in Noah’s day, will come down in judgment upon the people of the earth.

oral-roberts-02

And HE said…

NOW, THERE’S GOT TO BE PREACHING WITH FIRE IN THE BELLY!

THERE’S GOT TO BE AN ANOINTING OF THE HOLY GHOST. MY CHURCH HAS TO WAKE UP BECAUSE WHAT I’M REVEALING IN THIS SIGN THAT “EVERY” EYE IS GOING TO, “EVERY” EAR IS GOING TO HEAR. THEY’LL SEE THIS THING. THEY WILL NOT NECESSARILY KNOW WHAT IT IS, BUT IT’S A WAKE CALL ABOUT THE SECOND COMING OF MY SON!

It’s not going to come and touch the earth. It’s going to be seen, it’s going to be heard, and people are going to become aware of the drama of the end time, of the second coming of Christ. When He splits the skies and comes back with His bride and takes over the reign of the earth and He destroys the Antichrist, who will arise at that time. He will destroy the followers of Antichrist and He’ll establish His kingdom upon the earth. And He said, “I cannot let anybody live and die without knowledge that my Son is coming back the second time.”